Love in the Time of Murder is book three in The Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives series by this author. I will confess I haven’t read the first two, but I didn’t have any trouble getting into the story and understanding the relationships of the characters. I understand this is the last book in the series, and the previous two are also stand-alones.
This is a fun romp of a cozy. Delilah, or Dee as she is known to her friends, is the granddaughter of a group of elderly ladies who get together to knit and solve crimes. Her life is in a bit of a mess. Her husband Brock has become abusive for an unknown reason. Dee finally manages to leave him and move out on her own, but this means moving in with her grandmother, who raised her, with her attendant knitting and busy-body posse. Soon after, Brock shows up to take Dee back, and things get ugly before he finally leaves. For me, this was the most immediate and emotionally tense part of the story. While Dee is trying to figure out how to handle the situation – the Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives insist she get a restraining order – Brock is found murdered and Dee is suspect number one.
Dee’s problems don’t end there, since the ladies see the perfect opportunity to find Dee a new man and put their matchmaking skills to use. Dee is having none of it, except for the fact the man they select – Tommy, introduced in the previous book – is handsome and makes her heart sing. At the same time, the ladies dive into finding the real killer, in order to save Dee.
The grannies are at once nosey, frustrating, overbearing and irritating. I myself got irritated with them, along with Dee’s moving back and forth from her new apartment to her grandmother’s. I think the relationship between Dee’s gay employer and his boyfriend is a little too blatant for my taste – they seem to be snogging in public at every opportunity (really?) – and some of the humor didn’t reach my funny bone. Equally frustrating is Dee’s reluctance to overrule her grandmother and the posse, despite being constantly ambushed by people with the best of intentions but oblivious to her mental distress. I wonder whether this is because the book is told in first person, which means the reader sees and feels everything through Dee’s eyes. Third person would allow the reader to view the characters in a less biased way.
Having said that, the mystery is a good one. The revelations about Brock keep you wondering just who he actually was, and overall, the book is a good story. Some of the wit and sarcasm I liked and there were some one-liners that made me laugh; I just wish the other relationships hadn’t fogged the sleuthing so much.
About the author:
D. E. Haggerty grew up reading everything she could get her my hands on, penning poems, writing songs, or drafting stories. After college and a stint in the U.S. Army, she entered the field of law, but after a few years in, became fed up and quit to become a writer.
Her first manuscript she hid in the attic and returned to the law, then became a B&B owner. She managed a writing career by shutting the B&B during the week and in the off-season. Several books later she moved to Istanbul to write full-time.